GENERAL INTRODUCTION, COUPLETS ANB COMPOUNDS, 71
Sometimes, in these couplets, only one word has retained its meaning, while the ottier
word has, in some particular language, lost its meaning and has become, what Dr. Gushing
calls, a * shadow word/ the compound having only the meaning of the dominant word
exactly as occurs in Chinese. Thus, the Shans say tang-^tin for c a roadJ; in which tang
is the word which has retained its original meaning, while shin has lost it. So, in
Ahom, we have pe-ngd, a goat, in which ngd (so far as I can ascertain) has now no
meaning in this connexion, while pe, by itself, also means a * a goat.1
In some of these last couplets, the second member still retains a definite meaning,
but has, so to speak, emptied itself of it in favour of the dominant member. This is very
commonly the case with words like dai, to possess; $ait place, and the like. Thus,—
au, take; au'dai, to take, to collect, bring,
kaht give; hau-dai, gives give out and out.
rait lose, be lost; rai-dm, to lose altogether, to be lost altogether, to die.
hup, to collect; hup-bai, to store.
khdh to bind; khdfcbai, to bind.
Another form which these couplets take is the juxtaposition of two words, not of
identical, but of similar meaning, the couplet giving the general signification of both,
khrdng, large property; Hngt cattle and small property; khrdng*ltngt property
nd, a field; Up, a plot of land; n&'kipt a field.
*&0, complaint; khdm, word; sho+kham, a complaint in a court of justice.
Jsh&n, price; shu, buyi au, take; khdn-shtts * . . . . au, to buy and take,
au, take ; kin, eat; ail-kin, to eat.
ldt% say ; khdm, word ; lat-kham, to say.
lat-khdw, say; lau, address; lat-khdnt'lau, to address a superior,
mu, time; Ian, day; vwJjdn, time, day,
There are other couplets the members of which possess, not even similar, but
altogether different meanings, the resultant couplet having a signification giving the com-
bined meaning of the two. These correspond to what would be called compounds in
Aryan languages. Thus,—
ban, day, sun; tuk, fall; ban-tukt sunset, evening.
ati, take; w£, come; «w-w<£, fetch, bring.
jdk, worthy; bd, say; jdk-bd, worthy to be called,
hdn, see, be seen; dais possess; hdn~dai, become visible. In this way dai
makes many potential compounds.
rang, to arrange; kdnt mutuality; rdng-kdn, consult, In this way ban makes
many couplets implying mutuality.
pan, divide; kdns begin; p&n-k&n, to begin to divide. In this way kdn makes
many inceptive compounds.
hau, give; oi, continuance; haii-oi, give or cause continually.
po> strike, be struck; w, be, remain; £0-«, is striking, is being struck* IB this